New York City mayor announces more furloughs to counter budget shortfall

FILE PHOTO: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a news conference after a tour of P.S. 59 following the coronavirus outbreak in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S., September 2, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Pool

(Reuters) - Over 9,000 New York City employees will be furloughed for five days between October and March to save about $21 million as the city battles a severe budget shortfall from the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday.

“It’s a difficult one because it will affect real people and their lives, it will affect their families,” de Blasio told reporters.

The furloughs will impact city employees in managerial positions and non-union employees, he said.

Last week, de Blasio announced that everyone in the mayor’s office, including the mayor himself, will be furloughed for one week without pay beginning Oct. 1.

The coronavirus outbreak had caused the city to lose $9 billion in revenue and forced a $7 billion cut to the city’s annual budget, de Blasio said.

“What would really solve this? A federal stimulus - and it’s shocking that it still hasn’t happened,” the mayor said, adding he was also still in negotiation with the state to obtain greater borrowing power.

Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Diane Craft